Brave New Waves 20th anniversary with the Blankket , the World Provider , the Creeping Nobodies and Les Georges Leningrad at the Drake Hotel, March 20. Tickets: $10-$12. Attendance: 250. Rating: NN
Something about watching a lone man onstage picking apathetically at a bass and singing half-assed Bruce Springsteen covers can make you ponder. Questions arise. Like, is there some sort of deconstructionist commentary hidden behind the lazy, off-key rendering of Dancing In The Dark? Perhaps there's a hidden message about the Boss's macho American rock. Is this just stupid?
Or is it I who am stupid?
The Blankket , aka Steve Kado , is one of those guys who pops up onstage a lot in this town. Also of the Barcelona Pavilion, he's got enough indie cachet and respectability to make me question myself.
After all, this is the 20th anniversary of Brave New Waves, and while the Drake basement is sparsely populated, it is filling up with with terribly cool-looking people.
He seems to do this cover thing quite a bit. I have in the past seen him perform a noise drone version of Ace of Base's Don't Turn Around, with Heart Murmur, and heard his screaming, frenetic version of OutKast's Hey Ya! though he doesn't play it this evening, which is amusing in a cheese-grater-on-your-face kind of way. He does have great stage presence.
It's very de rigueur these days to do sloppy, ironic renditions of other people's music and leave it up to the listener to decipher the significance of your work. There must be some, right? Otherwise, this is just bad. If I'm cool enough, I'll be able to find it.
Isn't this whole thing old yet?
Kado launches into an a cappella and (again) off-key version of The Street Where You Live, from My Fair Lady. Man, this is a lazy way of doing things. You don't have to write anything or even know how to play an instrument particularly well. Nice work if you can get it.
He's replaced onstage by the World Provider , from Montreal, who immediately launches into a gibberish mock emo tune that's actually funny. But then he moves onto a sloppy version of Nazareth's This Flight Tonight (missing most of the notes, of course), and I think, "Jesus, have I died and gone to cutesy ironic cover hell?" Where is the shame in actually doing something well?
The rest of the World Provider's set is a quirky mishmash of noise and the man, also known as the Karaoke Cowboy (who apparently has played with Peaches and Chilly Gonzales), doing his best spasmodic Crispin Glover impersonation. He does, I must state, bring a certain gleeful, manic energy to a room.
The Creeping Nobodies follow with a set of scraping guitars, fuzz and experimental discordia noise rock.
A tad much for my nerves at the moment.